The commander in chief offered his own heartfelt perspective on how far women have come in America and why it’s important to him.
President Barack Obama’s days in office are dwindling, but he’s taking full advantage of his time, most recently by writing a powerful essay for Glamour magazine on feminism, in which he reflects on the strong women in his life.
“I’ve seen how Michelle has balanced the demands of a busy career and raising a family,” he wrote. “Like many working mothers, she worried about the expectations and judgments of how she should handle the trade-offs, knowing that few people would question my choices.”
He also admitted that, as a young man, how he perceived of his own masculinity was in response to his own insecurities, not strength.
“It’s easy to absorb all kinds of messages from society about masculinity and come to believe that there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a man. But as I got older, I realized that my ideas about being a tough guy or cool guy just weren’t me. They were a manifestation of my youth and insecurity. Life became a lot easier when I simply started being myself.”
Obama also made it clear that supporting women is not enough for men, they must also support feminism and equality between the sexes.
“And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men. It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too.”
The 44th U.S. President also nodded to Hillary Clinton’s nomination as a candidate in a major political party as an important step for not just women, but everyone.
“No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America,” he stated. “And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality. I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance. I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too. And I want them to help do their part to ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will. That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.”